The ICES Working Group on Recreational Fisheries Surveys (WGRFS) role is to summarize, and quality assure recreational fishery data and feed into the ICES advisory process on marine rec-reational fisheries (MRF) issues. In 2022, WGRFS continued to work on many aspects of MRF including collation and review of national survey programmes; assessment of the validity of new approaches; provision of guidance on availability, quality and use of data; supporting regional data collection and storage; the human dimension; and review of workshops organized by the group. The sessions focused on sharing information, assessing the quality of national survey programmes, intersessional groups, and scientific publication plans.
Information was shared on several different topics. New national survey programmes and new survey results were presented for Belgium, France, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, and UK. Perspec-tives on MRF were provided by the European Commission and the European Angling Alliance. An update on the outcomes of the Regional Coordination Group (RCG) intersessional group on Recreational Fisheries was given. Methods for allocation of catches between recreational and commercial fisheries were highlighted alongside potential approaches that could be applied. Summaries of the outcomes from stock assessments that include MRF were presented.
Two national survey schemes were reviewed using the WGRFS Quality Assurance Tool: Italy and the UK. Issues were highlighted with existing designs and suggestions made for future im-provements. The focus of the meeting was to review progress, agree approaches, and set direc-tion for the intersessional groups (ISGs) as the WGRFS’ main mode of delivery. The ISGs cover governance; survey methods; quality assurance; regional coordination and data storage; catch and release and animal welfare; stock assessment and reconstruction; novel methods; human dimensions; and communication and engagement. The discussions and outcomes are too diverse to be summarized here, instead details are provided in the text of the report.
The WGRFS has continued to deliver outcomes centred on: creating a broad network to share expertise; developing methods; raising the scientific profile; and providing the scientific evi-dence of inclusion of recreational data in fisheries management. WGRFS has expanded the net-work beyond Europe to generate more collaborations and wider learning, with around 115 mem-bers from 30 countries. The profile of the group has been raised at the international congress and through a presentation in the European Parliament by WGRFS members. Several papers have been published and a further manuscript being developed that resulted from collaborations within the WGRFS